When union leaders wonder why there is such hostility towards organized labor in the United States today, they are quick to blame corporate pressure, job competition, and a hostile administration. It might do them some good to start looking at how their own actions impact public perception of their value.
According to Charles Johnson, the Department of Labor terminated a contract with the Montana AFL-CIO Monday for wasting a bunch of your money:
It found that for every $1 spent to help displaced workers in Montana, the AFL-CIO spent $4.01 on its own staff salaries for its Project Challenge: Work Again program.
Certainly Jim McGarvey, the very well paid Montana AFL-CIO executive secretary, had a reasonable explanation, right? Not so much:
McGarvey called the Labor Department statistics “one-sided” and disagreed with Kelly, saying: “My answer to Kelly saying we’re ‘upside down’ is that’s one school of thought and not a very well thought-out one at that.”
It’s hard to argue with a finely honed statistical treatise like that.
I don’t particularly relish bashing the labor movement. My family is union family, and I am a union worker. I think organized labor has been an essential tool for providing reasonable working conditions for Americans, but when labor leaders and staffers become more important than the workers they are supposed to support, it’s rarely the political leadership of unions who suffer. Instead, its the very workers who support them. Just ask Jim McGarvey:
McGarvey said the layoffs wouldn’t affect the remaining four jobs at the AFL-CIO. These positions are involved in what he called “political action” and weren’t involved in Project Challenge, and vice versa.
That’s certainly a relief. I don’t know what workers in Montana would do without the political efforts of the AFL-CIO, an organization that promised its endorsement to Max Baucus despite a weak labor record, no matter who his opponents are. The labor movement certainly needs to keep those essential political positions in place.
Absolutely, the labor movement has enemies, in corporations and government. It’s just damn disappointing when the enemy is inside.